When Libya was Italian

In 1940, half the people living in the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi were Italian. Half. That's because Libya had been "incorporated" (read "colonized") by the Italians in 1934. Almost immediately, Italians began streaming into their new land, setting up numerous farms and gelato stands. Italian leader Mussolini was on a quest to rebuild the Roman Empire—but his defeat in WWII put an end to that project. After the war, there was something of a leadership vacuum in Libya... just 16 people in the nation were college graduates. Yeah, sixteen in the whole country. The UN's response was to quickly declare Libya independent—but without well-prepared leaders, life didn't improve much for the typical Libyan. Hopefully the current chapter will have a happier ending. (Above is a map of the "Italian Empire" of 1940)

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